March 25 coronavirus news

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9:27 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Amazon warehouses are getting hit with coronavirus cases

Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images/FILE
Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images/FILE

Amazon warehouses are dealing with at least nine facilities hit so far with coronavirus cases, according to Amazon and local media reports. 

One person who works in Amazon’s Staten Island, New York fulfillment center tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the online retail giant told CNN late Tuesday. The person, who was physically at work last on March 11, is in quarantine and recovering, Amazon said. 

That case marks the second to affect Amazon warehouses in New York. It comes a week after the first reported case at any US Amazon facility, in Queens, New York. Other positive cases have been reported at Amazon facilities in Moreno Valley, Calif.Jacksonville, Fla.Shepherdsville, KyBrownstown, Mich.Oklahoma City, Okla.Katy, Texas; and Wallingford, Conn.

What is Amazon doing: Amazon has temporarily closed some sites, such as the Queens location, but has largely refrained from mass closures — instead telling the public it is taking “extreme measures to ensure the safety of employees at our site[s].”

That includes regularly sanitizing door handles, elevator buttons, lockers and touch screens, Amazon said, as well as staggering shifts and spreading out chairs in break rooms. 

The spread of the virus within Amazon’s massive logistics operation threatens to disrupt shipments and delay deliveries even as millions of Americans are becoming more reliant on the service as they observe social distancing. The company is already warning visitors to its website of longer delivery times, and encouraging customers to select no-rush shipping if their needs are not urgent. 

A CNN review of Amazon’s website Wednesday morning showed delivery dates in mid-April for Amazon's white-label toilet paper. Digital thermometers, the site said, could be delivered by early May. 

9:18 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

There is still time to stop the US from becoming the coronavirus epicenter, health official says

Margaret Harris
Margaret Harris

There's still time to stop the United States from becoming the next epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a World Health Organization spokeswoman told CNN today.

"The potential is there, but you've still got time to turn it around," WHO's Margaret Harris said.

Though the number of cases and deaths continues to grow in the country, it's possible to reverse the trajectory, she said.

"You've got the best public health brains in the world," Harris said. "You've got people who can harness technology brilliantly. You've got people who can really think out of the box."

How this works: The formula for success is testing people, finding each case, identifying people who have come into contact with those who have been infected, isolating those who are ill or who have been exposed and quarantining, she said.

Read more about this here.

9:54 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

How much money Americans will get under the stimulus plan

The White House and Senate leaders struck a major deal early this morning over a $2-trillion package to provide a jolt to an economy struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan includes direct deposits to many Americans. Here's how they work:

  • Individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each
  • Married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400
  • Families will get an additional $500 per each child
  • Payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children

Remember: The final bill text hasn't been released.

9:12 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Prince Charles is in "good spirits" after coronavirus diagnosis

Prince Charles continues work and is in “good health and indeed good spirits” following his coronavirus diagnosis, according to a royal source.

He was tested on Monday and got results on Tuesday, the source said.

Charles is now self-isolating at the Birkhall estate in Scotland, with a small number of staff keeping separate from him, the source said. His wife, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, is self-isolating separately.

The Prince has not been to a hospital, the source said, adding he was tested because of his age and medical history. He has spoken both to his mother Queen Elizabeth and to his sons William and Harry, the source said.

The medical advice he has been given is that this is “unlikely to escalate into a more serious case for the prince from now on.”

The source asked not to be named discussing the royal family’s medical condition.

Watch:

9:54 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

What’s included in the $2 trillion stimulus bill

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer just outlined what's included in the $2 trillion stimulus deal reached by the White House and Senate leaders.

Here are five key points of the bill:

  • It includes $130 billion for hospitals, nursing homes, community health centers and other similar facilities, to help with the shortage of ventilators and equipment.
  • Schumer said it's "worker-friendly" — meaning people who are out of work will be able to apply quickly for employment insurance or be furloughed.
  • There's $150 billion in assistance for state and local governments.
  • Schumer said the bill allows for oversight and accountability over corporate lending.
  • The bill includes interest-free loans for small businesses.

Watch:

8:59 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Saudi Arabia tightens curfew and suspends travel between some cities

The empty King Fahd road in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Monday, March 23, after authorities imposed a curfew.
The empty King Fahd road in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Monday, March 23, after authorities imposed a curfew. Fayez Nureldine//AFP/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia has suspended inter-city travel between Riyadh, Medina and Mecca and has tightened curfews in the cities to start at 3 p.m. local time, according to state news agency SPA

On Monday, Saudi Arabia had imposed a curfew across the country starting at 7 p.m. local time until 6 a.m. for 21 days to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The tighter curfew comes a day ahead of a virtual G20 leader’s summit, which will be chaired by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz “to advance a coordinated global response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications,” a statement from the G20 Saudi Secretariat said. 

9:54 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Schumer: Stimulus bill is like "unemployment insurance on steroids"

CNN
CNN

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the $2 trillion stimulus deal reached by the White House and Senate leaders after tense negotiations will provide much-needed help to Americans.

"To the American people, we say big help, quick help, is on the way," the Democratic senator said.

Schumer said the bill will provide $130 billion to help provide equipment and supplies for hospitals and health care facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

"This is workers-first," he said.

Of note: Schumer promised most people will get their full or nearly full salaries or can be furloughed. He called it "unemployment insurance on steroids."

"America needed huge help quickly, and I think we’ve risen to that occasion," he said.

When asked by CNN’s John Berman if the stimulus deal would be enough, Schumer said, "We don’t know," citing the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus.

8:50 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

British parliament debates how to help freelancers

Parliament TV
Parliament TV

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently being questioned on the coronavirus outbreak in the Parliament.

The number of MPs attending the traditional Prime Minister's Questions session has been restricted and the debate's duration has been extended to accommodate for the social distancing measures imposed in the United Kingdom.

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, pressed Johnson on financial help for freelancers and people on casual contracts, who are losing incomes because of the outbreak.

Johnson said the government is working on providing help to these workers.

8:35 a.m. ET, March 25, 2020

Trump approves disaster declaration for Louisiana

President Trump approved an urgent request for a major disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana, which grants the state access to federal aid as it combats the spread of Covid-19. 

The President approved the declaration on last night, just one day after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards sent a 15-page letter to the White House seeking disaster relief. 

Governor Edwards tweeted this last night: